Renault KWID concept unveiled

6 Feb, 2014 11:04am Roger Stansfield

Renault reveals quirky KWID crossover concept at the Auto Expo in New Delhi powered by a 1.2 turbo

Renault design chief Laurens van den Acker admits there's 'a little bit of Bollywood' about the KWID concept, the company's latest show car, which was unveiled at the Delhi Auto Expo this week.

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The minicar-sized crossover has flamboyant two-tone grey and yellow paintwork, large arches and wheel hubs, gullwing doors, an interior inspired by a bird's nest and an unusual five-seater layout with a three-person bench in front and a smaller one for two in the rear.

The driver sits front centre, slightly ahead of the two outer passengers. This layout allows KWID to be either right- or left-hand drive without modification, said van den Acker.

The car includes what Renault refers to as a 'Flying Companion' - a small remote-controlled helicopter which can be launched on a pre-programmed flight path to look for obstacles or traffic jams or used to take pictures. Alternatively, it can be operated via a tablet computer.

KWID is the first Renault concept car to be given its global debut outside Europe, and was created with input from interior designers and colour and trim specialists within the company's Indian studios at Chennai and Mumbai. It was completed in Paris.

Power comes from a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine driving the front wheels through a dual-clutch transmission, but the car has been prepared so an all-electric powertrain could easily be adopted.

KWID is based on a new platform which Renault will use for a small car for India next year. Van den Acker says the show car is fully driveable.

There are no plans to put it into production - it would be too complex and costly in its current guise - but van den Acker says the success of the Duster in India, which has become the top-selling crossover there in just 18 months, has encouraged Renault to look at the idea of adding a small SUV.

'We are not blind to the success of the Duster and it is no secret we are looking at extending our line of SUVs because we were extremely late,' he added. 'It's on my Christmas list, but to hit a price below €5,000 would be a tremendous challenge.

'We decided to show it in India to emphasise our commitment to the Indian market. We wanted to make our presence known.'

And the name? A play on the English slang for a pound and the Latin word for 'what?'

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